Cultivora's 5 Top Picks for Flow 2013

posted by Rose Mardit on August 06, 2013

  • K-X-P
  • Moderat
  • My Bloody Valentine
  • Jacco Gardner
  • Junip
  • Photo: Flow Festival 2011 by Marjana Jaidi

    Helsinki, Finland -- Since it features a number of regional artists, and takes place at the site of a former power plant, it's safe to say that this is an unabashedly Finnish affair. What really makes Flow Festival stand out in a sea of other summer music festivals though is the diversity of its lineup. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly which genre this fest favors, with electronica, indie rock, pop, jazz, and a number of other styles being represented across its stages. Here are our recommendations for who to check out at Flow 2013.

  • K-X-P

    Photo: K-X-P via their Official Facebook

    “Original. Electronic. Motörhead. Space. Trance. Spiritual. Rock. Meditation. Freejazz.” That mouthful is how the Finnish trio defines itself. Despite this varied palette, K-X-P is not suffering from any sort of identity crisis. A listen to their recorded work reveals a band that knows exactly what their sound is and doesn’t shy away from it. It is completely authentic and like nothing that I’ve heard coming out of the States: up-tempo rock that is aggressive yet whimsical, and considering the band is a three-piece, it’s surprisingly intricate stuff. If you want to check out some local talent at the festival, these are the guys to see.

    K-X-P will play at the Black Tent on Friday, August 9 at 20:45.

  • Moderat

    Photo: Moderat via their website

    They have been hailed as a supergroup, and not without good reason. Modeselektor (a.k.a. Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary) and Apparat (a.k.a. Sascha Ring) are talented producers on their own, with significant followings and musical output. When they come together, they fuse the best parts of breakbeat, electronica, pop, and techno, and electronic music fans can collectively freak out. Moderat’s tracks are considerably less formulaic and probably more accessible than the typical Berlin sound. They’ve just released their sophomore album to great internet fanfare, so their live set at Flow Festival this weekend is coming at an exciting time. Don’t miss it.

    Moderat will play at the Nokia Blue Tent on Friday, August 9 at 00:00.

  • My Bloody Valentine

    Photo: My Bloody Valentine via their Facebook

    Because how can you pass up an opportunity to see MBV, anyway? Their set is sure to include those late 80s and early 90s classics that cemented the band’s place in alternative rock - and more specifically, shoegaze -lore, as well as material from their triumphant third studio album, released this past February.

    My Bloody Valentine will play at the Nokia Blue Tent on Saturday, August 10 at 21:30.

  • Jacco Gardner

    Photo: Jacco Gardner via his Facebook

    Dutch artist Jacco Gardner makes dreamy tunes with a dose of unexpected, old-school instrumentation. This is difficult stuff to define, but I’m going to call it contemplative pop, though someone could just as easily sit (or since this will be performed at a music festival, sway) unthinkingly, and tumble into the phantasmagorical landscapes that Gardner weaves together. When was the last time harpsichord and flute were used to this effect in popular music? Possibly never, which makes it all the more special to hear in 2013. Still, there is something vaguely familiar, maybe 70s-esque, about this sound. No matter what time and place he’s coming from though, Gardner makes beautiful music.

    Jacco Gardner will play at the Balloon 360º Stage on Sunday, August 11 at 16:00.

  • Junip

    Photo: Junip by Johanna Hedborg

    Long before anyone cared about Avicii or Swedish House Mafia, there was ABBA. More recent years would bring a whole lot of Swedish music to a global audience, like The Hives; Peter Bjorn and John; Miike Snow; and The Tallest Man on Earth. José González is another one of those internationally successful Swedes in indie pop and rock. His signature combination of classical guitar playing and lush vocal melodies have made him a standout artist as a soloist, and his work as part of the band Junip serves as an extension of that identity. Junip, unsurprisingly, feels fuller-bodied: the unmistakable guitar/vocal pairing still sounds like Jose González, but the addition of Tobias Winterkorn and Elias Araya has allowed for an even more satisfying listening experience to become possible. The band’s live show is as gorgeous as you might expect, so prepare to fall a little bit in love if you aren’t already.

    Junip will play at the Balloon 360º Stage on Sunday, August 11 at 20:30.

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    See Also:

    A Look Ahead: August 2013
    Local Favorites Play Heineken Open Source Stage at Flow
    Timetable Released for Flow's 2013 Edition